Common Problems

There are several issues that will require going aloft while at sea.

Practical tips for safe ascents and descents

Among them are lost halyards (more likely the main, as the jib halyard is often semi-permanently attached to the furling headsail swivel), a chafcd-through halyard or a burned-out nav lightbulb (this can be helped by replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs that have a much longer life). Other problems include binding or stiff main halyard sheave in need of lubrication, a jammed roller furling

Opposite: West Marine Bosun's chair. This page: Spinlock Pro Harness, top; Mast Mate webbing ladder, below

Opposite: West Marine Bosun's chair. This page: Spinlock Pro Harness, top; Mast Mate webbing ladder, below

sail or ripped furling sail, a broken or jammed mainsail slider/car or broken rigging.

With proper halyard maintenance, you can greatly reduce the likelihood that you will need to go aloft. Install a small, permanent trace line inside the mast from the base to the masthead. Ensure that your furling headsail extrusion is the correct length and that the angle from the furling unit's top swivel to the halyard sheave is correct—this is very important A headsail halyard wi II frequently last for 30,000 miles, or a full circumnavigation, A spinnaker halyard is generally used as a back up if the furling halyard breaks 01 chafes through. Ensure that the topping lift can be used as a main halyard; the weight of the boom, when the main is dropped, needs to be taken by a rigid vang or boom gallows. For offshore passagemaking, carry an extra halyard and spinnaker block in your rigging spares.

I have been asked whether it is necessary to go aloft for coral piloting. Honestly, 1 don't think so, as standing on the boom provides enough elevation. We have found mast pulpits (a.k.a. granny bars) to be a great platform to stand on for navigating through coral.

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